Review – The Kindergarten Teacher.

Well Autumn is upon us, the leaves have turned their deep burgundy and the winter wind has come in and carried them away onto my neatly swept balcony. So as a tear may be shed for the end of late summer nights and we welcome the end of a year of growth; pull out your fall blanket, turn on your kettle, and cuddle in with your honey or in my case, my Netflix.
This past weekend (October 12th) brought the Netflix film The Kindergarten Teacher. Trust me, this isn’t a sequel to Kindergarten Cop and it isn’t for children at all; unless at first watch you want to show them a cautionary tale of when a Teacher takes a what appears to be unethical interest in a 5-year-old.
Taking on the charismatic lead is none other than Maggie Gyllenhaal. You all know her. She is the wonder woman who inspires thought, fearlessness, strength, and hell even her own brother into acting – I mean where do you all think he gets it from?! From HBO’s The Deuce ( which she plays a character that is in charge of her own path) to The Kindergarten Teacher, Maggie proves that she is a force that kick’s some serious ass in her work. – But we already knew that.
So before this turns into a love letter to Maggie Gyllenhaal (God help my future husband with my ramblings) let’s talk about The Kindergarten Teacher.
It took me two watches of this Sara Colangelo (Director) film to narrow down one subject to explore. I have yet to determine if it will be three by the time I post this. I mentioned at first glance it is as if it is a cautionary tale; To the audience and everyone around the main character Lisa (Gyllenhaal), her interest in her kindergarten student Jimmy (Parker Sevak) is one that anyone with a soul would have a hard time not jumping to the worst conclusions. I mean why would a teacher be so interested in a child who composes such beautiful poetry that she manipulates the truth to the boys father into her caring for him after-school, tells a lie to his soccer mates father so she could whisk Jimmy off to Manhattan for a poetry reading; which led to Jimmy sleeping on Lisa’s family couch and caused Jimmy’s father to rightfully removing him from Lisa’s class. This move sends Lisa to the drastic choice of going to Jimmy’s new school playground and taking him on an excursion with promises of greatness; a greatness that would become dulled and defeated if gone unnoticed and not nourished. We see this at the end of the movie after Jimmy calls the police (due his feeling that his safety is threatened) and is waiting in the police car with a poem with no one around to take note.
But after a week of reflection on this piece of art I took away the notion that even though Lisa’s character could be construed as selfish, neglectful towards her own family (husband and two teenagers) of whom she in part resents because their lack of interest in creativity and anything that does not involve Instagram; I found Lisa to be as many of us are at one point or another, lost and dying for something or someone with passion to shake up our world. Gyllenhaal perfectly conveys the message that when we become complacent in our lives that we become stuck in a life that we do not recognize anymore. – When we are hungry for inspiration and a new outlook on our otherwise mundane lives that some may tiptoe on seemingly dangerous lines to feed that insatiable hunger. Lisa and the theme of the movie are not wrong in the need to stay curious, that art, music, intellectual conversations, or any conversation that does not require our phones are something that once upon a time ago was treasured. I mean there’s a reason we are up until 6 am in bed fully devoured in conversation with someone we love next to us.
So yes The Kindergarten Teacher is a cautionary tale; a tale of an outcome of when we lose our passion, curiosity, and the feeling stuck in a life we barely recognize and resent.
What are your thoughts??

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